Other literary forms
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was a prolific writer, forced into copiousness by economic necessity. Punished by Sir Timothy Shelley, father of her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, for her violation of his moral codes with his son, Mary Shelley was denied access to the Shelley estate for a long time after her husband’s death. Her own father, William Godwin, was eternally in debt himself and spared her none of his troubles. Far from helping her, Godwin threw his own financial woes in her lap. It fell to Mary to support her son by writing, in addition to her novels, a plethora of short stories and some scholarly materials. The stories were mainly available to the public in a popular annual publication called the Keepsake, a book intended for gift giving. Her stories were firmly entrenched in the popular gothic tradition, bearing such titles as “A Tale of Passion,” “Ferdinand Eboli,” “The Evil Eye,” and “The Bride of Modern Italy.” Her scholarly work included contributions to The Lives of the Most Eminent Literary and Scientific Men in Lardner’s Cabinet Encyclopedia (1838). She attempted to write about the lives of both her father and her husband, although these efforts were never completed. She wrote magazine articles of literary criticism and reviews of operas, an art form that filled her with delight. She wrote two travel books, History of a Six Weeks’ Tour Through a Part of France, Switzerland, Germany, and Holland (1817) and Rambles in Germany and Italy (1844). Shelley edited two posthumous editions of her husband’s poetry (1824 and 1839), and she wrote several poetic dramas: Manfred, now lost, Proserpine (pb. 1922), and Midas (pb. 1922). She wrote a handful of poems, most of which were published in Keepsake.